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  • Design a walking stick

    Get your child ready for family hike with a cool walking stick. All she'll need is a dry (not green) fallen branch that's a little higher than her waist--and easy to grip.

    Have fun one day by painting it or tying a ribbon around the stick to personalize it. An adult can whittle the child's initials or design in the side of the stick.

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  • Paint or draw the sunset

    Use any and all materials for this creative activity. You're likely to have a great view of the sunset anywhere so have some supplies handy and the next time you see the sun coming down, run outside and get started.

    Lay some newspaper down to take care of the mess. Put multiple sunset drawings on your fridge or wall together so you can see their differences.

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  • Tree, meet my child

    Have your son or daughter meet a tree with their eyes closed or blindfolded. Have them feel and smell the tree and tell you what they noticed. If they are nervous you can guide them and help them touch the tree.

    Extend this activity by holding your child's hand an taking a walk around a park or the yard blindfolded. Look out for things that are safe but might be interesting to touch or feel.

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  • Plant a tree leaf collection book

    Make a collection by gluing or taping the fallen leaves into a book and then writing the names below the leaf.

    Easiest time of year to do this activity is definitely Autumn because the leaves will be on the ground in abundance.

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  • Make a cubby with twigs

    Your little builder will have fun doing this on his own or with help. All that is needed is a pile of twigs or small sticks. Add a roof to the cabin by laying some light leaves out on top.

    Take it to the next level by creating a stick fence around the cabin or outlining a driveway with grass.

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  • Create a scene with a nature diorama

    You can do this creative activity with any old shoebox. Use natural materials like grass and twigs to make something different such as a car going down a street. Alternatively use the items to recreate the outdoors inside.

    Some glue will help you stick sticks to the side of the box or grass to the floor.

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  • Create a spring flower collection book

    Have fun with the kids by pressing flowers into home made books to flatten and dry them or press them between sheets of ironed wax paper. Absorbent paper will make the right effect. Blank newsprint (available at art supply stores) works well for this. Place a layer of paper above and below your chosen flower. Go ahead and press up to 3 layers of flowers at a time (with at least two pieces of paper between the layers). Leave flowers pressing for 5 - 8 days until they are dry.

    Any heavy book, encyclopedia, phone book will work! Hole punch some of the paper and tie together with ribbon to create your own book. This is a great activity for you to do one on one with your child.

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  • Collect seashells by the seashore

    Talk a walk along the beach, gathering any pretty or interesting seashells you find. Save them for a beach diorama or make a sandcastle and use them as decoration.

    A hat will do wonders when protecting you from the sun. Bring a bag from home that can always be your nature collection bag.

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  • Kids garden

    Already have a garden? Let your child pick and plant a seedling in your garden and watch it grow from day to day. Measure how tall it gets every day or every week. What else can you track?

    Go to a nursery and ask what an easy and quick growing plant would be for that season and climate. Every week or so, take a pad of paper and do a drawing so you can have a visual record of the progress.

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  • Nature's art is your art too!

    Look around outside for gum nuts, pinecones, sticks, or rocks. Bring your favorite ones inside. Grab some glitter, paint and glue and make some really great original sculptures. Perfect for bringing the outdoors in on a rain day.

    Cardboard could be a base for the sculpture if you need one. Otherwise pinecones, sticks and rocks will do the trick. Lay out some newspaper on the floor or table to protect against the fun mess.

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  • Make your own vegetable garden

    If you have a backyard, starting a small vegetable garden is no great challenge. Once you have in mind what types of vegetables and the amount you want to plant, make sure you have enough space so there can be 20 inches between the rows (best for most veggies). Prepare the soil in advance by plowing some organic material into the garden area. Your garden will be more successful if it is in sunlight for a good part of the day and close enough to the house for you to water it.

    Plan in advance with your child what vegetables they really like and want to plant. It will get both of you more excited to make the garden and to eat the delicious goodies that come out of it!

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  • Pine cone painting

    Grab some pinecones of different shapes and sizes from the yard. Paint them and even use a little glitter if you're in the mood. They're great decorations for the holidays or any time. They can even be fun works of art for kids to give away.

    Some newspaper on the floor or table will help protect against the mess. Glitter really helps to liven this activity up! This is a perfect rainy day activity.

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